eSignatures: The Key to Efficient and Patient-Centric Healthcare in 2023
eHealth, or electronic health, refers to the use of digital technology to improve healthcare services, such as electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, mobile health, and health information exchange. In the U.S., eHealth has been an area of growing interest and investment in recent years.
There have been several initiatives at the federal level to promote the adoption of eHealth in the U.S. For example, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was established in 2004 to lead the nation's efforts to implement and use health information technology. The ONC has played a critical role in promoting the adoption of electronic health records by healthcare providers and supporting the development of health information exchange networks that enable the sharing of health data among different healthcare organizations.
In addition to federal initiatives, many states have also implemented their own eHealth initiatives. For example, some states have implemented telemedicine programs to provide remote healthcare services to patients, particularly in rural or underserved areas. Other states have established health information exchange networks to enable healthcare providers to share patient data more efficiently and effectively.
Many private companies are also involved in the eHealth industry in the US, including startups developing innovative technologies and established companies providing EHRs and other digital health solutions.
According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global eHealth market size was valued at USD 123.22 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 246.82 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.67% during the forecast period.
Overall, eHealth has the potential to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare services in the US, and it will likely continue to be an area of focus and investment in the coming years. However, there are also challenges associated with the adoption of eHealth technologies, including concerns around data privacy and security, as well as the need for healthcare providers to adapt their workflows and processes to incorporate new technologies.
What is the objective of digital health?
Healthcare informatics management (HIM) in the U.S. involves using technology to manage, analyze, and share health information to improve patient care, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce costs. It encompasses a range of activities, including electronic health records (EHR) management, clinical decision support, data analysis, telemedicine, and health information exchange. It can provide value-based care to patients by identifying at-risk populations and reducing the duration of hospital stays. In addition, it can be a valuable arsenal in healthcare organizations to curb unnecessary expenses.
Major factors driving the need for HIM include improving healthcare quality and outcomes, increasing patient safety, and reducing healthcare costs. The federal government has also played a significant role in promoting the adoption of healthcare informatics through initiatives like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
Electronic signatures (eSignatures) play a critical role in HIM by streamlining administrative processes and improving patient care. eSignatures are an important aspect of HIM, enabling healthcare organizations to securely and efficiently capture signatures, authenticate users, and track document workflows. By using e-signatures, hospitals and clinics can reduce turnaround times for signature-dependent documents, speed up revenue cycle management, and enhance the patient experience by allowing them to sign documents electronically from anywhere, at any time.
Healthcare informatics management has become increasingly important in the U.S. healthcare industry as technology is critical in improving patient care and reducing costs. As healthcare organizations continue to invest in technology, healthcare informatics management professionals will play a key role in ensuring these tools' effective and efficient use to achieve organizational goals.
What is the use of digital signatures in healthcare?
Electronic signatures are prime solutions for centralizing contracts for easier management. Contract management can help organizations in saving resources and identify new opportunities. eSignatures can accelerate the signature process in an agreement or contract. Some contracts that can benefit from the incorporation of an eSignature are:
- Joint venture contracts
- Equipment agreements,
- Physician employment contracts,
- Care transfer agreements,
- Compensation and benefits documents,
- Managed services contracts,
- Physician recruitment contracts,
- Medical director contracts,
- Consent Forms,
- Medical technology usage agreements.
Also Read: Digital Signatures: Elevating the Healthcare Experience
The Case for Electronic Signatures
An electronic signature is a legal method of gaining approval on contracts or forms. They are essential in managing a seamless digital document workflow and streamlining various healthcare processes. As the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated shifting to digital tools, eSignatures have become crucial for healthcare organizations.
A case study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) found that implementing eSignatures in their surgical consent process reduced the average time for completing and filing consent forms by 75%, from 4 days to 1 day.
With the need for creating an integrated healthcare system to provide a seamless patient experience to strengthen the security of enterprises, eSignatures are a valuable tool. Here are its benefits:
Benefits of eSignatures
Electronic signatures are a much-needed tool in the healthcare industry. They are used to sign essential forms in the sector, such as prescription forms, diagnostic results, etc. Here are its benefits:
Streamlined Documentation - E-signatures eliminate the need for physical signatures on various forms and documents related to healthcare, such as prescription orders, patient consent forms, and others. This significantly reduces paperwork and administrative costs. In addition, it speeds up the accuracy of information and documentation. Patients will benefit from this development and forego the need to carry past medical reports physically.
Faster communication and decision making - E-signatures facilitate speedier communication and decision-making among healthcare providers, insurers, and patients. Electronic signatures on medical orders can enable healthcare providers to quickly prescribe medication or authorize treatment without delay, improving patient outcomes and reducing costs associated with more extended hospital stays.
Improved security and compliance - E-signatures provide higher security and compliance than physical signatures, as they are validated and authenticated using security measures such as encryption, passwords, and biometric authentication. This protects patient data and ensures compliance with various regulatory requirements, such as the U.S. ESIGN Act and UETA.
Increased convenience and accessibility - E-signatures can make healthcare services convenient and accessible for patients, especially those who live in remote or underserved areas. Patients can sign forms and documents electronically from their homes or mobile devices. This reduces the need for physical visits and allows patients and healthcare providers to be resourceful.
How is DrySign Effective?
DrySign is a renowned electronic signature solution allowing users to create digital signatures. It assists its users in providing their consent on electronic documents through a single click. Furthermore, it complies with international eSignature laws and regulations to offer convenience and flexibility to its users.
The healthcare system is undergoing a digital overhaul to make it convenient for doctors and patients. An electronic signature is crucial to simplify document workflow and improve patient outcomes. Healthcare providers can rely on the solution to improve the efficiency of current processes.
Continue to provide value-based care with DrySign.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.
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